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Due Date - Robert Downey Jr and Zach Galifianakis interview

Due Date

Interview by Rob Carnevale

ROBERT Downey Jr and Zach Galifianakis talk about some of their experiences of filming Todd Phillips’ new anti-buddy comedy Due Date during a press conference held in London. They also discuss spitting in a dog’s face, how far is too far in comedy and why Zach loves Todd Phillips so much…

Q. Welcome to Due Date stars Robert Downey Jr and Zach Galifianakis…
Zach Galifianakis: Good morning.

Robert Downey Jr: He was going to entertain you… he said: “How much if I trip on the stairs and lose the teacup and everything?” I said £200. I come out, I set him up, he doesn’t f***ing do it and I go: “What happened?” He said the conversion tripped him up, he didn’t know how much that was actually worth [laughs]!

Zach Galifianakis: It’s about $350 right? [Gets up to walk back out of the room] I’ll be right back.

Q. How do you feel when you’re offered parts that aren’t entirely normal?
Zach Galifianakis: I only get… I really haven’t been offered a lot of parts except by Todd, but they’re never normal. But I prefer that… I like it.

Robert Downey Jr: This just reminded me… it had the potential to be like some of the films tonally that I’d grown up really enjoying, and that impacted me. But it had its own sensibility, obviously as it’s a Todd Phillips movie, and then it was just an incredibly creative venture.

Q. How did you develop your screen chemistry?
Robert Downey Jr: [Looks at Zach] Don’t just stand there with glistening eyes, answer the f***ing question!

Zach Galifianakis: Yes, sir.

Robert Downey Jr: He’s formulating his answer to the question now, while he stumbles getting ready to answer the question.

Zach Galifianakis: I think you’re seeing the chemistry in action, this is basically how it went down each morning: insults, insults, insults and then somehow magically and beautifully some of that energy was put into the movie quite, honestly. Pretty good answer, huh?

Q. Robert, this is a question not about this film…
Robert Downey Jr: So what’s the pertinence of the question? God, what the f*** is wrong with you, can’t you just come and talk about what we’re going to talk about?

Q. It’s about your career….
Robert Downey Jr: I’m sorry, go ahead.

Q. You’re very successful right now…
Robert Downey Jr: Yeah right now, I love the preface! What is the passive-aggression, what is the f***ing question? You’re killing me.

Q. You’re very successful right now, and you’ve had your ups and downs in your life…
Robert Downey Jr: Oh f***, here we go, I couldn’t have called it.

Q. So I would just like to ask you if it was a hard struggle when you came back after years…
Robert Downey Jr: I love that you’re actually translating this from your native tongue, I think it’s very impressive. Obviously English isn’t your first language, and so I commend you. Next question please.

Q. In comedy how far is too far, and that’s for everyone but especially Zach?
Robert Downey Jr: He’s the wrong person to ask.

Zach Galifianakis: I think with Todd’s movies that’s the whole point, to go too far. Sometimes in comedy I would imagine you have to do that because so many beats have been done in movies before but the good thing about Todd is that there are things, like a masturbating dog, that you haven’t seen since the old silent films.

Q. Zach, is it true that you were allergic to the dog?
Zach Galifianakis: I have an allergy to certain… Yes, I got a hair in my eye and my eye got big but there’s not much of a story there.

Robert Downey Jr: That’s not an allergy.

Zach Galifianakis: What is it, when your body has a reaction to something, that’s an allergy. Next question!

Robert Downey Jr: You’re wrong

Zach Galifianakis: I don’t like you attitude today, I don’t like it. And you’re drawing a picture of the devil!

Robert Downey Jr: It says something glorious about this interaction and some of you are f**kng sinister. I don’t know, what am I going to do? I’m just writing what I see.

Due Date

Q. Robert, you spat on the dog, how did it take to that?
Robert Downey Jr: I think one of the things I love about Due Date is that I get kicked off the plane and then the guys says: “The person you travelled with..” And I say: “I’ve never met that dip$hit in my life!” And he says: “He had nothing but nice things to say about you..” And Todd [Phillips] said: “Just to make it definitive that you don’t want to hang out with this clown anymore just spit in his dog’s face.” It was right after lunchtime and I said: “No, isn’t that going too far?” And he said: “Spit in the dog’s face… I love dogs, he doesn’t mind.” So, I spat in the dog’s face and Sonny [the dog] was just like: “Oo, what happened? Did he have to get something out of his throat or something? I hope he feels better…” And I was thinking: “My God, what is wrong with us?”

Zach Galifianakis: I also thought it would be funny to see on the credits ‘Due Date, starring Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx… a dog … Zach Galifianakis’. [Laughs]

Robert Downey Jr: That’s the great thing about comedies and particularly with Todd being at the front of that bloodline right now, I see the process both on the set when we were figuring out what to do with the scenes and then at early test screenings and stuff. There was this thing that we all agreed was hugely outrageous, this moment in act three when I finally asked him: “How did your Dad pass away, I never knew?” And Zach turns to me and says: “Oh, sharing needles…” You’re thinking: “That’s so wrong!” But Todd says: “Well, let’s see what the audience thinks…” And they were like: “That’s sick, I’m going to walk out!”

Q. Zach, you’ve worked with Todd on three films in short space of time, so is he the love of your life?
Zach Galifianakis: To be honest, Todd is the… [rattles cup and saucer in mock embarrassment] I’m very fortunate that Todd and I got to meet because I don’t think I would have been given this big an opportunity from other directors who saw what he did… whatever he saw. And we do work very well together and I’m very appreciative and I do think about it every day, because he texts me to remind me!

Q. Robert, are you more comfortable in comedy or drama?
Robert Downey Jr: I’m equally comfortable doing any medium. The thing about comedy, if that’s what you want to call this – I call it spectacularity – is it’s more light-hearted and Todd runs a set that is just a very small group of people making fundamental decisions with a very trusting studio’s money. My dad was saying to me, and my dad was a maker of underground films back in the late ‘60s and stuff, and he said this reminds me of the kind of stuff me and my friends would be doing if we had the opportunity nowadays. So, keep hope alive.

Q. What was the first meeting between the two of you like and is it true Robert that you wanted to punch Zach?
Zach Galifianakis: We met… I approached Robert on the streets and I said: “I think we’re doing a movie together…”

Robert Downey Jr: [Smiling] Susan was there, my wife, and she was worried for me, I don’t tend to recognise people and I didn’t know exactly who Zach was yet. What was my reaction [said looking towards his wife]? I looked like I was going to drop him on the pavement? I don’t like punching Zach… but it has to be done.

Zach Galifianakis: He doesn’t punch me, he pinches me…

Robert Downey Jr: I do pinch him,.. Yes [pinches him again]

Zach Galifianakis: And it drives me absolutely (swerving the pinch)… absolutely insane!

Read our interview with Todd Phillips